Further information

Further information about the Postgraduate Loan for Master’s study is available via the policy summary provided by Student Finance England

If you are an English student or an EU student who meets certain criteria, you can apply for the Postgraduate Loan for Master’s study (PGL) of up to £10,609 from the UK government for programmes beginning in the 2018-19 academic year. If you are a student from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you can find further information below.

The PGL is not means-tested, so it doesn't matter what your household income is. In addition you will not repay any of the PGL whilst you are studying.

The loan is to contribute towards the cost of your postgraduate study, and you can choose whether you put this towards your tuition fees or living costs. It is for all Master’s degrees across taught and research programmes. 

EU nationals will remain eligible to apply for the Postgraduate Loan for Master's study loan for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years to help cover costs for the duration of their study.

Postgraduate Loans

Eligibility criteria


 On the first day of the first academic year of the course students must be:

  • a UK or Islands national who has been ordinarily resident in England for at least three years other than for the purposes of study; or
  • an EU national who has been ordinarily resident in the EEA/Switzerland for at least three years other than for the purposes of study; and
  • under 60 years old.

Academic years are determined by course start dates:

a. 1st September
b. 1st January
c. 1st April
d. 1st July

Applications may be subject to individual assessment, with up to three years address history required.

Eligible courses

Stand alone Master’s courses (taught and research, including professional)

  • full-time (1 or 2 years in duration); or
  • part-time at a minimum of 50% intensity (up to 4 years in duration - paid in the first 2 years only);
  • in attendance and distance learning.

The PGL is not available for:

  • PG Certificates and PG Diplomas in medicine-related subjects
  • students who already have a postgraduate Master’s qualification (or overseas equivalent), including an integrated Master’s qualification

How does it work?

Students can:

  • apply for a non-means-tested loan up to a maximum of £10,000
  • apply up to 9 months after the academic year start date
  • request a change to the loan amount up to 1 month before the academic year end date

The PGL is not means-tested, so it doesn't matter what your household income is.

How do I apply?

Applications can be completed online or via paper forms through Student Finance England; who will administer the loans. You’ll only have to apply once, even if your course is longer than one year. 

How will I be paid?

  • Payments are made on the start date of term one, then the last Wednesday of the 4th and 7th month after the course starts
  • Payments are split 33%, 33% and 34%

Do I have to pay it back?

Yes. Repayments will be based on your income, not what you borrowed. You will repay 6% of your income over the threshold (currently £21,000 a year) towards your loan.  Repayments will normally start the April after you finish or leave your course, but no repayments will be taken before April 2019.  When it comes to repayment there are a couple of differences from other student loans that you should be aware of:

  • Interest will be charged at the RPI plus 3% from the day the first payment is made to you until the loan is repaid in full or written off. It won’t vary depending on your income after you finish your course.
  • The interest rate is updated in September every year, using the RPI from March of that year.
  • If you started your undergraduate course on or after 1 September 2012 and have any other loans from the Student Loans Company you will repay these at the same time. This means you will repay 9% of your income over £25,000 towards the student loan you took for your undergraduate course and 6.1% of your income over £21,000 towards your Postgraduate Loan. As a result when you become eligible to repay both loans you will repay a total of 15.1% of your income. Examples:
Income each year (before tax)Monthly salaryUndergraduate loan repayment*Postgraduate loan repayment
 £21,000  £1,750  £0  £0
 £25,000  £2,083  £0  £20.33
 £30,000  £2,500  £37.50  £45.75
 £35,000  £2,916  £75  £71.17
 £40,000  £3,333  £112.50  £96.58
 £45,000  £3,750  £150  £122.00
* If you're repaying a student loan for your undergraduate course that started on or after 1 September 2012
Summary of the table's contents

Outstanding balances of English and Welsh loans which are remaining 30 years after you're due to start making repayments will be written off.

Will interest be charged?

Yes. Interest is charged from the day the first payment is made to the student until the loan is repaid in full. Interest will be charged at the Retail Price Index (RPI) plus 3%.

Students from Scotland

AC Widget - SAAS PF

Postgraduate funding

The Scottish government has introduced a Postgraduate loan of £10,000 for all eligible one year full time taught postgraduate students in 2017.

The Postgraduate loan will be available to both Scottish and EU students commencing a full time or part time taught postgraduate course in 2018.

This comprises of a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500.

Postgraduate loans will be added to a student’s existing undergraduate loan and repaid as a single loan balance.

Applications for the Postgraduate loans will be available from April 2018 onwards. Further information is available via the SAAS website.

Students from Wales

Students from Wales

Postgraduate funding

Student Finance Wales introduced their own PGL from 2017 for £10,280. Application details for 2018 have not been announced. Further information about the postgraduate support is available via the Student Finance Wales webpage.

Students from Northern Ireland

Students from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate funding

Student Finance Northern Ireland have introduced their own PGL of up to £5,500 to help with course costs and it is likely that students will be able to apply from Summer 2018 for the 2018-19 academic year. Further information is available via the Student Finance Northern Ireland webpage.